Montville Police Officer Gregg Jacobson may not have known it at the time, but the was involved in a string of burglaries, assaults and robberies in California in 2009. Now, that suspect may be at the center of a rash of burlaries in Lyme.
Lyme town officials are reporting that evidence seized during a search of a barn on the property of former Lyme First Selectman William T. Koch Jr. is connected to the recent wave of burglaries in Lyme and Old Lyme.
The burglaries have been a source of concern for local residents since the break-ins were first reported in June.
The new evidence was found during a police search of a barn on property owned by Koch on Brush Hill Road in Lyme on July 12. The search warrant was issued following the arrest of 2005 Lyme-Old Lyme High School graduate Justin P. Weissinger, 25, who is a person of interest in the burglary investigation.
on July 10 after leading police on a chase that began when officers from East Lyme and Montville allegedly clocked his gray Subaru going nearly 80 mph eastbound on Route 161 toward Route 85.
The pursuit ended in Montville, at which point police searched the vehicle and arrested him on including possession of a loaded firearm, possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, interfering with a police officer, possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, and larceny.
Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno said Weissinger is the son of Koch's girlfriend and had been using the Brush Hill address as his mailing address, although he didn't actually live there. The search warrant affidavit, which had been sealed for two weeks, was recently released by New London Superior Court.
According to the New London Day, the affidavit states that a key found in Weissinger's vehicle following the police chase opened a gun locker in the barn that contained a 12 gauge shot gun and a .22 caliber rifle that were reported stolen from a house on Bashan Road in East Haddam and two air rifles reportedly taken from a home on Hagen Road in Salem.
"Troops covering several other towns are actively involved in the continuing investigation as well," a notice posted on the Lyme Town web site states. "To assist with the Lyme related investigation, the town will be utilizing some of its annual budget allocation for police services to facilitate and expedite the process."
As Lyme currently has no resident state trooper, State Police Troop F Sgt. John Mesham has been leading the burglary investigation. Now the investigation has expanded to include other towns, The New London Day is reporting that officers from different State police troops, including East Lyme Selectman, Salem Resident State Trooper Kevin Seery of Troop K, have been brought in to assist.
Neither Mesham nor Seery were on duty today, however, and could not be reached for comment.
Weissinger, who has not been able to post the $50,000 bond set after his arrest in July, remains in jail. Eno sought to reassure concerned residents at Lymes' Senior Center earlier this week that Weissinger is likely to remain there as the burglary investigation continues.